A lot goes into a winning barrel run: Accuracy, responsiveness, and the rider’s technique are just a few of them. But if your barrel horse doesn’t have speed, he can have all the other elements and still not win. Luckily, there are ways you can develop speed in your barrel horse to put in better, faster runs during competitions.
Speed Development Techniques for the Barrel Horse
Speed development starts with proper conditioning and training at home. These techniques can help to develop the strength your horse will need to put in a fast run:
- Straight Line Sprinting. Sprinting your horse in a straight line builds strength, speed and acceleration. This exercise will prepare your horse for the sprint for home, and the muscle he develops will be useful as he accelerates between barrels.
- Small Circles. Practicing small circles at reduced speed can help your horse to build the strength and balance he’ll need to turn around the barrels and then accelerate again. Remember, the purpose here is to focus on building muscle and balance, so keep the speed down and focus on teaching your horse to lope smaller circles in an easy, more relaxed way.
- Collection Work. Collecting your horse up at the jog or lope is a valuable strength-building exercise, teaching him to shift his weight and push off with his hind end. Loping over poles can help to build collection. You can also transition down to a halt from the jog, back up a couple steps, then ask your horse to step off immediately into a collected lope.
- Transition Work. Transitions – both upward and downward – can help your horse to collect, build strength and learn how to use his body effectively. Good transitions are key, so ask a friend or trainer to watch you from the ground sometimes to help you perfect them.
- Hill Work. If you have access to hills, then you have a valuable conditioning tool. Hill work can build strength — particularly in your horse’s hind end — for acceleration and speed. Just be sure to introduce hill work gradually and at a slow pace, since it does provide a workout and can leave your horse sore.
Feed EQ-Royal For Added Speed
Conditioning and developing speed in your barrel horse takes time, but there’s one more way that you can give him an advantage during your next barrel race. Feeding your horse EQ-Royal can help to make him stronger and faster when every fraction of a second counts. EQ-Royal has blood-building properties to help boost muscle performance, strength, speed and stamina, from your trip down the chute to your gallop home.
EQ-Royal is 100% drug-free, so it will not test. Plus, we back EQ-Royal with a 90-day money-back guarantee, so you can buy with confidence.
Top trainers, owners and competitors rely on BRL Equine products to help their horses perform at their very best. You can get the same great results! Our all-natural equine nutritional supplements really work... guaranteed or your money back!